30 years ago, the Rob Reiner directed Stand By Me hit theatres and four young boys entered the hearts of many… Also it made the Ben E. King song your absolute favourite song ever.
Adapted from the Stephen King novella The Body, the coming-of-age film Stand By Me was released in 1986 and starred a fantastical amount of young, incredibly talented individuals, specifically Wil Wheaton, the late River Pheonix, Corey Feldman and Jerry O’Connell as the main group whose summer consists of finding a dead body. Kiefer Sutherland appears as the bleach-blonde antagonist “Ace” whose summer consists of bullying young children and his band of merry idiots destroying people’s properties.. LEAVE THE MAILBOXES ALONE, YOU ANIMALS.
A Legend Is Born
The Lard-Ass sequence is one of the most famous scenes from the film and as Andy Lindberg, who portrays Mr. Ass, states in an interview with Yahoo! “Having that bright spot in the arc of the story helps make it stand out more.”
Lindberg describes the various padding required in order to become Lard-Ass, “They either built or rented a two-piece fat suit. I would put on legs with suspenders and then a big padded top. They had Size 60 Levi’s jeans that I would wear when I had the suit on.”
How Stand By Me Compares to Other King Adaptations
There have been over fifty of King’s works adapted to the big screen alone, with Stand By Me ranking as the 5th most successful adaptation, box-office wise. Below you’ll find the Top 5 Stephen King adaptations from Box Office Mojo.
- The Green Mile (1999), $136,801,374, Domestic Gross
- 1408 (2007), $71,985,628
- Misery (1990), $61,276,872
- Pet Sematary (1989), $57,469,467
- Stand By Me (1986), $52,287,414
Surprisingly, Thinner and Maximum Overdrive do not appear in the Top 25. Not sure why that is, must be a glitch of some kind.
Why Not The Body?
So why isn’t Stand By Me named after the work that it is based on? According to screenwriter Raynold Gideon, “… [The Body] sounded like either a sex film, a bodybuilding film or another Stephen King horror film. [Director] Rob came up with Stand by Me, and it ended up being the least unpopular option.” [wiki source] Fantastic choice on Reiner’s part because the film has become synonymous with the famous and magical Ben E. King song, which plays over the opening and end credits.